Many people suffer with TMJ symptoms for years as they get passed between doctors who either don’t acknowledge their condition or offer symptom treatments that provide minimal relief–if any. So if you finally get relief from your TMJ symptoms thanks to your bite splint and neuromuscular dentist, you’re probably really happy and excited at first.
But after a few months of successful treatment, it’s time to consider whether you might benefit from full mouth reconstruction for your condition.
Actual full mouth reconstruction patient
Understanding Full Mouth Reconstruction
A bite splint is a great frontline treatment for TMJ. It’s noninvasive and fully reversible. It’s relatively inexpensive, and it can provide faster relief than many other treatment approaches. But it’s still just a plastic piece you slide in over your teeth. Wouldn’t it be nice if your teeth could just hold your jaw in the right position without the bite splint?
That’s the goal of full mouth reconstruction. By reshaping and building up your teeth with dental crowns, dental bridges, and other restorations, full mouth reconstruction seeks to give you the results of the bite splint–without the bite splint. And along the way it also offers a number of other benefits–such as a more beautiful and healthy smile.
Full mouth reconstruction is not a required step for treating your TMJ, but for many people it’s a beneficial next step. How do you know if you’ll benefit?
You Are Unhappy with the Bite Splint
For many people, the bite splint isn’t a bother. They adapt quickly and may even forget that it’s there. They don’t have difficulty speaking with it and can eat easily. With easy overnight wear during sleep, they barely have to think about it, so there’s not a lot of reason to get a full mouth reconstruction.
But other people never really adapt to the bite splint. They’re constantly aware of having something foreign in their mouth. It may make them gag. Inserting and removing it are a nuisance. They may develop a lisp and can’t shake it. The bite splint may get lost, or cleaning it seems like a hassle.
If that’s your experience with the bite splint, then you’ll love the results of your full mouth reconstruction: all the benefits of your bite splint–without the bite splint.
You Have to Keep Wearing the Bite Splint All Day
For most people, bite splint treatment starts out as a 24-hour wear, but after a few weeks switches to overnight wear only. This makes it a lot easier to keep wearing the bite splint.
But some people have jaws that tend to get out of alignment again very quickly. They need to wear their bite splint all day to keep their results.
In this situation, a full mouth reconstruction is even more appealing. You’ll get the same results, but without the nuisance of wearing the bite splint all day.
Your Teeth Need Repair
But perhaps the most important reason why people choose full mouth reconstruction is that their teeth have been damaged by TMJ. Their teeth may be worn down so they’re very small. They might be chipped and cracked. They may hurt or be sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure. Maybe mismatched restorations make their smile look unattractive.
No matter the exact circumstances of the tooth damage, a full mouth reconstruction can restore the health and beauty of your smile while repositioning your jaw. This makes it an ideal next step for many TMJ sufferers.
Your Dentist Says You’re a Good Candidate
As with many procedures, nothing will make a bigger difference in the results of your full mouth reconstruction than your choice of dentist. That difference starts when your dentist identifies you as a good candidate for the procedure.
If your dentist doesn’t recommend a full mouth reconstruction, then the procedure probably isn’t right for you.
On the other hand, if your dentist doesn’t offer full mouth reconstruction, or if you want a second opinion, you can contact one of the skilled neuromuscular dentists at Rochester Advanced Dentistry to learn whether it’s right for you. Please call (248) 656-2020 today for an appointment.